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    The Village Street

    by Edgar Allan Poe
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    In these rapid, restless shadows,
    Once I walked at eventide,
    When a gentle, silent maiden,
    Walked in beauty at my side.
    She alone there walked beside me
    All in beauty, like a bride.

    Pallidly the moon was shining
    On the dewy meadows nigh;
    On the silvery, silent rivers,
    On the mountains far and high,--
    On the ocean's star-lit waters,
    Where the winds a-weary die.

    Slowly, silently we wandered
    From the open cottage door,
    Underneath the elm's long branches
    To the pavement bending o'er;
    Underneath the mossy willow
    And the dying sycamore.

    With the myriad stars in beauty
    All bedight, the heavens were seen,
    Radiant hopes were bright around me,
    Like the light of stars serene;
    Like the mellow midnight splendor
    Of the Night's irradiate queen.

    Audibly the elm-leaves whispered
    Peaceful, pleasant melodies,
    Like the distant murmured music
    Of unquiet, lovely seas;
    While the winds were hushed in slumber
    In the fragrant flowers and trees.

    Wondrous and unwonted beauty
    Still adorning all did seem,
    While I told my love in fables
    'Neath the willows by the stream;
    Would the heart have kept unspoken
    Love that was its rarest dream!

    Instantly away we wandered
    In the shadowy twilight tide,
    She, the silent, scornful maiden,
    Walking calmly at my side,
    With a step serene and stately,
    All in beauty, all in pride.

    Vacantly I walked beside her.
    On the earth mine eyes were cast;
    Swift and keen there came unto me
    Bitter memories of the past--
    On me, like the rain in Autumn
    On the dead leaves, cold and fast.

    Underneath the elms we parted,
    By the lowly cottage door;
    One brief word alone was uttered--
    Never on our lips before;
    And away I walked forlornly,
    Broken-hearted evermore.

    Slowly, silently I loitered,
    Homeward, in the night, alone;
    Sudden anguish bound my spirit,
    That my youth had never known;
    Wild unrest, like that which cometh
    When the Night's first dream hath flown.

    Now, to me the elm-leaves whisper
    Mad, discordant melodies,
    And keen melodies like shadows
    Haunt the moaning willow trees,
    And the sycamores with laughter
    Mock me in the nightly breeze.

    Sad and pale the Autumn moonlight
    Through the sighing foliage streams;
    And each morning, midnight shadow,
    Shadow of my sorrow seems;
    Strive, O heart, forget thine idol!
    And, O soul, forget thy dreams!

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